Anyone who’s had their car repaired knows how inconvenient it is to go without a personal vehicle. You’ve probably thought, “I wish I took better care of my car.” If you want to keep small problems from getting bigger and more expensive, you need to perform preventive maintenance.
While some things are best left to auto professionals, such as car window repair in Indianapolis, there are a few maintenance procedures you can perform yourself to keep your car in excellent condition.
Read the manual
Before doing anything with the car, the first thing you should do is read the user manual. The user manual should contain guidelines and instructions from the manufacturer on how to perform basic maintenance procedures. It should also include contact information should you have questions about your vehicle.
Perform regular inspections
Regular visual inspections can reveal a lot about your car’s health, especially if you know your vehicle inside and out. If you see anything different, you might want to get your vehicle checked.
Your tires should be examined at least once a month. See if they are properly inflated to reduce the chances of a blowout. If the tires are overinflated, its traction is lessened, and the suspension could suffer from a hindered performance. Meanwhile, underinflated tires increase your fuel consumption and will wear out faster. You also might want to get the tires rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 mi.
The next thing you should check is the lights. You don’t want to drive down a dark highway only for your lights to die suddenly. Every light fixture should be inspected at least every 14 days. If possible, keep spare bulbs in the glove box in case of burnout. You can perform a light replacement yourself. All you need is a toolbox and the user manual for instructions.
Many owners neglect to maintain their wipers. Broken wipers make it more difficult and dangerous for people to drive through a snowstorm or downpour. If you hear squeaky noises, it’s time to replace the wiper blades. Check the user manual for the specific wiper blades for your car model.
Listen for changes
Cars, like people, make odd noises when something is wrong. If you’re familiar with your vehicle, new sounds can indicate a change in the car’s health. Have your vehicle inspected immediately if something feels off.
One sound you should look out for is a rattling noise accompanied by growing vibration while your car is in idle mode. It’s a sign that the muffler might be in trouble. If the rattling doesn’t stop after a while, see a mechanic as soon as possible. The damage could introduce noxious fumes into the car’s interior.
If possible, have your car’s exhaust inspected by a mechanic at least every six months. They’ll check if the tailpipes, oxygen sensors, mufflers, and other parts are in working condition.
Rattling sounds are also an indication that the shock absorbers are damaged. It could be caused by loose bolts or regular wear and tear. Either way, stop using your car immediately and have it inspected by an authorized mechanic.
Regular preventive maintenance can prolong your car’s service life and reduce upkeep costs down the line. By following these simple steps, you can reduce the chances of your car breaking down when you need it the most.